I live and work in Hamilton, a steel town on the shores of Lake Ontario halfway between Toronto and Buffalo.
I suppose I've always been the creative type. I've been involved in visual arts since I learned how to hold a pen. I graduated from the University of Toronto with a fine arts degree through its innovative Art and Art History program in conjunction with Sheridan College in Oakville. I focused mainly on painting and printmaking, but those who know me from that time recollect my compulsive graphomaniacal tendency to fill sketchbook after sketchbook with ink drawings.
In 1998 I attended the luthiery training program run by David Freeman at Timeless Instruments in Tugaske Saskatchewan. This was a marvelous experience, as the town is isolated. There are absolutely no distractions. One concentrates on guitar making for all of one's waking hours. Then one falls asleep dreaming about guitars.
I spent time as the resident repair person at The Music Shack in Oakville, where I worked on everything from budget Korean steel strings to celtic harps.
I was employed by Lee Valley Tools as a salesperson in the Burlington Ontario store for the better part of seven years. I made showroom displays, taught seminars in hand tool use, attended woodworking shows throughout North America, and sold a good many hand planes and chisels.
My musical tastes are wide. I love crackly delta blues. I also love 18th century chamber music. I have a folksinger's guitar technique. I wish I had "classical hands".
The first lute I ever saw was in the hands of a chubby carolling fellow printed on the lid from an English fruitcake tin. My mother identified it for me. I must have been four or five years old.